chapter
12 Pages

Introduction

ByIan R. Swingland, Eric C. Bettelheim, John O. Niles

In order to preserve the rapidly diminishing natural world it previously seemed logical that we should intervene and pay to protect it, and exclude people. Thus the past 50 years have been spent industriously engaged in research, planning, stocking zoos, creating protected areas and removing villages and settlements, disturbing the sustainable balance of hunters with their prey populations of plants and animals (thereby stimulating the invention of poaching), exacerbating poverty and introducing disease where none existed before. All motivated by a donation-driven western culture permeated by the idea that so-called expert and political committees could and should plan what would happen, and draw lines on maps as boundaries between people and the rest of the animal and plant world. Well-meaning it may have been, but disastrous it has proved.